Monday, April 1, 2013

Where We Stop, No One Knows!

This weekend marked Marge's return to the agility ring after a nearly 5-month hiatus from trialing and a 6-week break from heavy agility training (due to my surgery).  It seemed like we were destined for a rough weekend, especially considering that Marge has not seen a contact obstacle since November.  Seems Marge had other plans!


Standard was up first on Saturday.  The course was tricky, with a weave pole entrance that everyone thought was very challenging.  The rest of the course had wonderful flow. Marge ran the course beautifully, but missed the weave pole entrance.  I was originally going to pull her out of the poles and have her re-start them, but because she was so determined and moving so quickly, I decided that it wasn't worth it to risk demotivating her for a run that would have been an NQ either way.

I think I should have slowed down more and perhaps shaped the weave pole entrance as you would shape a rear cross.  I think our fault here just came down to lack of experience with this type of challenging entry.

We did have a successful Jumpers run and scored 9 points.  This was Marge's 15th Masters Jumpers leg. I really liked this run, particularly the cross behind the weave poles.  It's such a cool skill to show off :)

We were wildly successful on Sunday.  Once again, Standard was first; once again, we smoked the course, only this time, we qualified for 14 points.  I was thrilled with the way she moved around the course. This is Marge's 8th Masters Standard leg, which means we only need two more for our MX title.

My instructor did point out that she thinks I released her a bit too quickly on the A-Frame; you can't see in the video, but she was adjusting her stride to hit the 2o2o and I released her before she could even get in to the position.  To avoid missed contacts, my instructor wants me to hold her a bit longer.
I also think that I ate up a lot of time because of how slowly I crossed in front of the teeter; I think I could have chopped a second off of our time by doing that more quickly.

Later in the day, we qualified in Jumpers for 10 points.  This course was a lot of fun.  Marge was a little pokey in the beginning, as she seems to often be at the beginning of a Jumpers run, but then picked up speed later in the course.  It was fun to be able to layer the jump before the tunnel and to do so successfully.
New totals: 5 QQs, 8 MX legs, 16 MXJ Legs, 200 MACH points!
And, in our quest to qualify for AKC Nationals, Marge now has 33 of the required 500 points, 3 of the required 20 Q's, and 1 of the required 4 QQ's!  If she keeps running like this, we may have a shot at it.
The nicest thing is how happy Marge looks in these videos.  I think the time off actually did us some good.. Marge was very happy to be out trialing and her performance reflected that.  It's hard to believe that 3 years ago, at this very trial, Marge made her Novice debut.
Stay tuned for next weekend, when we try out a brand new indoor sports venue.  Hopefully, two more days of shows yields some more great results!


KB April 2, 2013 at 12:41 AM  

I am so happy that you've come all the way back to the point that you can do agility trials! And, I'm thrilled by Marge, truly thrilled. She is so happy, and the nice by-product is her success!!!!!!

I remember how hard trials were for Marge at the beginning, due to fear issues. The two of you are an inspiration to me and Shyla!

Diana April 2, 2013 at 7:51 AM  

Congrats, you guys looked great!

Jo's World April 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM  

Its just a joy to watch the two of you zip through the course. Marge is looking great and just loves the whole deal, doesn't she?

Glad to see you guys back!

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

Bailey's Food Dispenser April 17, 2013 at 10:48 AM  

What a great weekend for you! And can't forget about Arrows MXJ. Congrats!

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